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Frustrated in Arkansas

Frustrated in Arkansas

Old 08-05-2013, 07:48 AM
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Default Frustrated in Arkansas

I have been fighting a losing battle for days now trying to get my tension in the right sync on my longarm machine. This should not be so difficult. I've always been able to solve the problem with my domestic machines right? Well, so many different things can effect the long arm. Batting, thread, different kinds and differnent colors all require different settings. Does anyone have the perfect solution to all of this. Do any of you use a TOWA gauge? I am certainly considering buying one. I'm going crazy here. I even changed the backing fabric on my machine thinking the weave might be too close. I've changed my needles and the size of my needles. Help!!!! I've called the dealer and we thought it was working okay but when I took the practice quilt off and put on another one.......... a whole set of new problems. Anybody got any advice? I am about an inch shy of throwing in the towel!! I need some reinforcements. I'm getting tiny looptys on the bottom when I stitch backwards. Goes fine forward but backwards is when it goes crazy.
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Old 08-05-2013, 07:52 AM
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I don't have any answers for you, but you sure have my sympathy. I have watched my sister struggle with tension problems on her long arm for years. She will think it is all fixed and then it will just crop up again.

I suspect some long arm owners here can help though. My fingers are crossed for you...surely your problems are about over.

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Old 08-05-2013, 07:52 AM
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I feel your pain, I have a quilt on my frame right now that has been there for months because it has a lot of issues that I can't adjust out. What started out as a beautiful quilt top is now a rag as far as I am concerned.
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Old 08-05-2013, 08:16 AM
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I hardly ever have any tension issues from quilt to quilt, so I don't think this is normal. Perhaps your tension spring needs to be replaced? If it's worn out, nothing will help but to replace it.
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Old 08-05-2013, 08:25 AM
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I'm sure someone can help you. At least you know it's not right and trying to find a solution.
The LAs in my guild are always complaining about tension/thread issues. Rarely do I see any of their work that doesn't have thread bumps, loops, or too long a stitch, in with the good stitches. I have suggested they take a machine quilting class for a long arm machine but get the oh those are too expensive and I'll have to travel an hour away. So stop complaining about it then. It seems they are so happy that most of the stitches look great that a few oops are okay. I let them quilt my utility quilts.
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Old 08-05-2013, 08:44 AM
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Like Dunster, I rarely have issues but we both have Innova's. Did you go to Jamie Wallen's youtube video posted last time you sent out a plea for help on this?
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q1mRhcquZTM

Loops on the bottom almost always mean your top tension is way too loose (or bobbin way too tight) Have you been using cotton thread? You may have a wad of lint lodged in the bobbin tension spring. And that could happen at any time during the quilting process and throw your tension out of whack.

If I were you I would completely get off all cotton threads to eliminate the lint issue. Switch to polyesters, at least until you are confident in all aspects of your machine.

Maybe you would benefit by trying magnaglide bobbins from Filtec. http://www.bobbincentral.com/

They help alleviate backlash issues which may be what is happening when you change directions. However, it shouldn't be happening every stitch in one direction and not the other, that makes no sense. I am sorry you are having so many issues.
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Old 08-05-2013, 09:03 AM
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I second the recommendation to watch Jamie Wallen's Youtube video. Once I started using Glide thread, I haven't tried anything else simply because I love the look and it never gives me any problems.
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Old 08-05-2013, 10:36 AM
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I third the comments on the video and the Glide thread and magna bobbins. Although I struggled with thread at first, "bobbincentral" was super helpful and even sent me some of the magna bobbins to try out! I did have to use a thread net on the glide thread, but now she sews like a dream!
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Old 08-05-2013, 11:22 AM
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Are you keeping you speed the same both way's? I know that I move to slow I can get loops.
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Old 08-05-2013, 11:29 AM
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Originally Posted by omaluvs2quilt View Post
I third the comments on the video and the Glide thread and magna bobbins. Although I struggled with thread at first, "bobbincentral" was super helpful and even sent me some of the magna bobbins to try out! I did have to use a thread net on the glide thread, but now she sews like a dream!
I don't have the magna bobbins so that tute didn't really work for me. I tried and tried it. bobbin wouldn't stay in and didn't turn until I put it on its edge. I just bought a bunch of bobbins too. I'm still working on it. I think I'm almost there!!!!
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